Professor Alison Wakefield recognised with cyber award

Alison Wakefield

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The Security Institute has announced that its Chair, Professor Alison Wakefield PhD CSyP FSyI, has been honoured as one of the Most Inspiring Women in Cyber UK 2020 in the IT Security Guru digital event, sponsored by BT Security, Kaspersky, BAE Systems AI, KnowBe4 and ISC(2).

Selected by a distinguished panel of judges, who are themselves inspirational, the panel voted to reduce an impressive list of accomplished women in cybersecurity down to just 25 – though this had to be extended to 26 this year. 

The judges were:

  • Jane Frankland, award-winning entrepreneur, best-selling author and keynote speaker
  • Nicola Whiting MBE, Chief Strategy Officer, Titania
  • Becky Pinkard, Chief Information Security Officer, Aldermore Bank
  • Kate O’Flaherty, Cybersecurity Writer
  • Deshini Newman, Managing Director EMEA, ISC(2)
  • Amanda Finch, CEO, CIISec
  • Mandy Haeburn Little, CEO, BRIM
  • Clare Johnson, Founder, Women in Cyber Wales and USW
  • Emma Philpott MBE, CEO, IASME
  • Tony Morbin, Editor-In-Chief, IT Security Guru
  • Jessica Barker, Co-CEO, Cygenta
  • Emma Smith, Global Cybersecurity Director, Vodafone
  • Yvonne Eskenzi, Director and Co-Founder of Eskenzi PR & Marketing
  • Lynn Studd, Director of Security, BT Security

The virtual event saw the winners awarded with medals and Stir Crazy mixologist, Patrick Fogarty attended the event to ensure everyone had a cocktail or two in hand.

The evening also included a panel discussion addressing the need for women’s lists, the importance of role models and the steps that can be taken to ensure more women succeed in cybersecurity. This was led by Tony Morbin, Editor-in-Chief of the IT Security Guru, with panellists Jane Frankland, Anna Collard – SVP Content Strategy and Security Evangelist of KnowBe4, Deshini Newman – EMEA Managing Director of ISC(2), Mivy James – Head of Consulting at BAE Systems, Lynn Studd – Director of Security at BT and Alina Topchy – Deputy CBO & VP SalesOp at Kaspersky.

“It has been over ten years since we founded the IT Security Guru and this is by far one of our greatest feats. I cannot commend our finalists enough for all that they do for our cybersecurity community,” said Yvonne Eskenzi, Co-Founder of Eskenzi PR and the IT Security Guru. “It is heart-warming to see that, despite their grand successes and high-rankings, these brilliant women are willing to take the time to advocate for equality and act as role models as well as mentors for future generations.”

“The judges had an immensely difficult task as they had such a wealth of talent to choose from. Our winners range across highly technical practitioners to business leaders in both the public and private sectors, academia, regulators and leaders in the drive to increase diversity in the cybersecurity workforce – reflecting the range of concerns of the judges themselves,” commented Tony Morbin, Editor-in-Chief of the IT Security Guru. “They are already inspirational and by gaining this additional recognition for their successes, the aim is that they will act as role models for the next generation of women considering cybersecurity as a career, those considering changing career and reassuring women already in senior roles that there need be no limit to their ambitions.”

Professor Alison Wakefield

Alison Wakefield PhD CSyP FSyI is Chair of the Security Institute, the UK’s largest member association for protective security professionals, as well as Professor of Criminology and Security Studies at the University of West London, where she is a member of the executive of UWL’s Cybersecurity and Criminology Centre and Course Leader of the Professional Doctorate in Policing, Crime and Security. Alison is also an Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute, Academic Adviser to the Chartered Security Professionals Registration Authority and a member of a number of editorial boards and advisory councils, including those of Security Journal as well as the International Security and International Disaster Response Expos. She recently completed her fourth book, titled Security and Crime: Converging Perspectives on a Complex World, due to be published by Sage in 2021 and last year was recognised by SC Media UK as one of the UK’s 50 most influential women in cybersecurity for 2019. 

The Institute’s Chief Executive, Rick Mounfield CSyP FSyI said: “The Security Institute is committed to improving equality, diversity and inclusion in cybersecurity and very pleased to see our Chair, Professor Alison Wakefield recognised as a role model for women in the sector or considering cybersecurity as a career path. We strongly support IT Security Guru’s efforts to help make cybersecurity appeal to women and challenge common assumptions that it is a purely technical area dominated by men. The Institute recently launched an Inclusive Security Special Interest Group to promote the sharing of good practice in equality, diversity and inclusion and drive positive change within our sector and we would be delighted to hear from any individuals or organisations interested in participating.”

The full list of winners, their videos and panel discussion are available at:

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